Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Shepherd's Life

Hi there,
KNITTERS! Many of you follow @herdyshepherd1 (Herdwick Shepherd) on Twitter. He's James Rebanks, a Lake District, England Herdwick sheep farmer who now has 60.4K followers as of today. The guy posts fabulous photos of scenery, livestock, and his family and brings us close up into his world. In early April, his first book, The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District, was released in the U.K. where it became an instant #1 international bestseller. However, it will not be released in the U.S. until May 12, with a slightly different title and cover.  

Sooooo, it dawned on me! We happened to have a family friend, Jeffrey, who was on his semester study abroad trip in England. Jeff is cousin to bride Alexa, so sort of like a nephew twice removed, that sort of thing. I would ask him to bring me the book back from the U.K.! He agreed, but had one condition. He asked for some sort of shout out on my blog! He's always wanted to be an Internet celebrity!  

meet Jeff

Well, there was sort of one other condition. I promised to get him his favorite lemon bundt cake from the local NOTHING bundt CAKES store. Our families have a whole relationship built around these cakes! So last night we made the exchange!

I tweeted out our photo, and the author was kind enough to "like" it!

Jeff had an incredible time touring around Europe. This was one of my favorite photos he sent in his newsletter emails--

a sheep near Stonehenge


from Buda castle in Budapest overlooking
the Danube with the Chain Bridge and
Parliament in the background

xoxo Tammy 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reckless Abandon

Hi there,
I don't know what I'd do without the coaching, inspiration, and opinions of other Ravelry knitters. How did knitters ever figure stuff out back in the day?!

I've been working on the School Girl Socks pattern by cabinfour, gifted to me by Rav friend Sharon. She's been coaching me along with modifications since we both are using dk weight rather than sport weight. My brain can't quite grasp the math, so it has been a leap of faith here. I'm generally a pretty cautious person, and with knitting I don't trust myself to not follow the pattern exactly as written, use the yarn called for by the designer, etc. Now what is the worst that could happen? Sharon says I need to just dive in and go for it, throw caution to the wind!  

This is only the second sock pattern I have made. The first pair was made years ago, before Ravelry, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, although they turned out pretty well. The hard part was understanding sock construction. I found this diagram online somewhere that helped me a lot.

Sock diagram (source unknown)

Okay, so NOW I know where a gusset is located!

I'm really happy with how the first sock turned out. It is loose and cozy, the perfect lounge sock. The heel isn't egg-zactly where it needs to be, but close enough!  lol  

Now on to sock #2! Do you like?

xoxo Tammy 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hostile Takeover

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Sully. And I am briefly taking over this blog to complain about my weekend situation.

You see, most of the time, I am the most beloved special girl of Tam and Steve. I was born in a rural part of this fine town almost nine years ago, and when I was six months old, they rescued me from a life on the streets and brought me into their family as a 17th birthday gift for their daughter. There were a few bumps along the way including that bout with ringworm and the time I sneaked out for the night only to be assaulted by a group of tomcats.

Well, the daughter left for college and started her own life, including adopting "Bear". I got to stay right here. And all is well. I have a cushy life, plenty of great food, lots of fun, and most of all I am the Center of Attention . . . EXCEPT when Bear is over. So here's my gripe! Bear and I are not friends. He is annoying and spoils my limelight as soon as he arrives. And worst of all, I have to be shut in the laundry room whenever he is here. The.whole.time!  

It's really not right!!!!!!!

So, I hope you're having a pleasant weekend wherever you are. Bear goes home at 4:00 this afternoon. I'll be doing my happy dance!

Luv, Sully

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Monday

Granddog Bear posing as Flat Stanley

Hi there,
It's a lovely Monday morning, especially lovely because I have the day off. We get Easter Monday as the holiday off instead of Good Friday. It's a weird North Carolina thing, and I've heard all sorts of explanations, but in my situation it has mostly to do with the academic schedule. We had a very low-key weekend, the best kind! Bear, our one and only granddog, spent the weekend with us.

Two things today:


Have you ever made Paula Deen's Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies? It's one of our favorites! I like to make them with a chocolate fudge cake mix. But Ravelry BFF Sharon tried using a LEMON cake mix, and wow does that make a delicious spring cookie! (And note to Sharon, I ordered these baking racks from Amazon, love them!) 

Avon calling

I have rarely used any cosmetic or skin care product other than Avon. My mom was an Avon representative from the early 70's until she passed away in 1987. She was a top-ten seller in the state of Wyoming for most of her career, earning many awards and prizes. Everyone in our hometown knew to call 'Dot' for Avon. That was back in the day when she would make appointments with her customers to call on them in their homes, mostly the wives of doctors, lawyers, and business men. Her customers would have a pot of coffee brewed and usually a special baked treat waiting for her and would spend an hour or more going through the brochure and looking at her latest demo items. Those days are gone! My local representative recently quit, so I have started ordering from Avon online. And to my delight, the products come wrapped extra special, like a gift. The only other online retailer that I've seen do this to such an extent is Churchmouse Yarns.  

Have a great week! 

xoxo Tammy